Climate-Smart Utility Case Story
Frederiksberg Water, one of the 10 largest water utility companies in Denmark is committed to providing water and wastewater services as their core mandate. In addition, they also provide heating and cooling services. With the heavy dependence on groundwater as their water source, Frederiksberg water faces the challenges of rising sea level, saltwater intrusion, and high chlorinated compounds. Climate change and the densely populated nature of the city of Frederiksberg have also resulted in higher temperatures affecting operations of the utility.
The Frederiksberg Forsyning case cited a series of measures to protect and improve groundwater quality and also improve climate resilience (1) investing in new technologies (carbon filtration and Air stripping) (2) relocation of wells from the coastal areas (3) building heat pumps for cooling. Aside from these actions, there are national plans that have been adopted as a guide to governance and planning water resources. Some of these plans include Water Plan Baltic sea, Water Action plan, Groundwater protection action plan and Water Supply Plan.
Lessons learned from this case includes the use of flexible solutions when addressing climate issues. Emphasis was built on a need to focus on systems that could cope and adapt to climate change rather than systems that can last for the long term. Climate change has the potential to affect water supply systems in a variety of ways, ranging from changes in water abstraction and storage, the frequency and intensity of droughts, water demand and the risk of water infrastructure failure. Proactive adaptation to this uncertain changing climate includes the protection of groundwater sources as a prerequisite for its exploitation.
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